Family Canoe Camping tents? -UPDATE-

Discussion in 'Paddling' started by Boreal Boy, Aug 24, 2018.

  1. Boreal Boy

    Boreal Boy Supporter Supporter

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    Good day all,

    I am sure this has been done before but, lets do it again..... please post a pic of your canoe camping tent in action and let me know what it is. Reason being;

    My kids are getting up in age and while we are still currently car camping in our big cheap'ol 10 man monstrosity, its time to start streamlining some of the family kit for different types of adventures. I have a variety of lightweight backpacking tarp set ups and tents but, am looking for a good 4-6 person tent we can take on canoe camping trips.

    I like big views when I wake up so am looking for a tent that can provide that, Like Bill Masons campfire tent. The Marmot Hideaway caught my eye but, as it turns out it has been discontinued. If anyone knows of a similar tent or better yet, where I can get a used marmot hideaway, please let me know.

    I will start with the Marmot Hideaway followed buy my Golite Shangrila 3 on a Gander River trip a few weeks back (which is currently for sale on the trade blanket) https://bushcraftusa.com/forum/threads/golite-shangrila-3.228391/

    Thanks

    BB
    Hideaway-4P.jpg DSC_1371.JPG
     
  2. OutnBacker

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    Well, I don't have any recommendations on a new tent, but I can show you what I use for canoe camping- which is a lot like car camping. I got this off C-List quite a few years ago and it has been the best tent I've ever used. It's just an old '60's era canvas White Stag 7X9. Tents like these can be had for a song and the old ones were built pretty good. I would say this tent was probably billed as a 5-man, but all tent makers lie about that. Anytime I see a tent labelled a 4-man, I just figure half of that. Like my old Coleman (it's actually a Timberline TL-4), it's really good for two, but I never have guests so a nice big cot works well.

    As to the White Stag canvas tent, the first time I used it, there was a huge summer rain storm that was as heavy as anything I've ever experienced. The tent didn't leak a drop. Here's some pics showing the set up, and the big windows.
    Domicile, Canvas, 7X9.JPG IMG_0120.JPG IMG_0121.JPG 0530182049.jpg
     
  3. mjh

    mjh Supporter Supporter

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    We use this REI 6 person tent: Don't think they make it any more

    P1061487.JPG

    Admittedly this is our car camping set up. With the canoe we would most likely split up into a 3 person Kelty and 2 person North Face or perhaps try my newer Luxe tipi with 2 person bug net. We could add another bug net to the Luxe. I think a combo of the two would be lighter, easier to pack, and easier to find set up space.
     
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  4. FreeMe

    FreeMe Guide

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    This is the tent I have used for years. From way before I was doing any canoeing. It's almost thirty years old now, and I will be replacing it before spring with something more modern. It has served well, but it is wearing out. Grandkids will have fun with it, I reckon. 2010_0814Rivertrip08-20100100.JPG

    Curious to see other responses too, since I haven't decided on the replacement.
     
  5. Boreal Boy

    Boreal Boy Supporter Supporter

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    @outnbacker that's a great tent, I would love to get my hands on one and am always looking. Reminds me of the tents I grew up camping in. Let me know if you ever see another for sale please.
    Not necessarily looking for new tents, I like the old stuff.
    @mjh that's a nice tent. I do like the splitting up in two tents idea but, there not ready for it...
    @freeme that the old timberline?
     
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  6. FreeMe

    FreeMe Guide

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    Gander Mountain Timberline knockoff. Essentially, yes, a Timberline 2.

    Those old canvass "cabin" tents like OutnBacker's were great. We had one when my family was young (a 9'x11') - and yes, it stayed dry inside when other newer and more modern tents were failing in various ways. Unfortunately, it was only ours to use for a while (long and boring story). Overkill now for me as a family camping tent, but were I canoe tripping long-term as a family, and in places that didn't include any portaging - that's the tent I would want to be sleeping in.....IF I was also bringing a boat big enough to carry it. Wouldn't work well with any of the 16'-ish tandems I currently use.
     
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  7. OutnBacker

    OutnBacker Guide

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    You think that one is big? Check this one out. It's an old Sears Hillary 10x15 Canvas that I bought back in 1980 when my kids were all small. I used it up til 2012 for camping with a bicycle group I was riding with. I could bring the bike in at night or when away from camp. When it rained, a card table and chairs provided that 1800's "campaign" experience, so you can imagine who's spot had the party.... Big cot, big pillow, big blankets, big sleep. I sold it to another younger family, and I hope they get as much comfort from it as we did. Again, totally waterproof in the heaviest downpours imaginable.

    IMG_2481.JPG

    Some guests.... these little babies ended up in my lap, gentle as can be.
    IMG_2500.JPG
     
  8. Boreal Boy

    Boreal Boy Supporter Supporter

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    I love those big old canvas tents!

    Apparently they make the "Bill Mason campfire tent in nylon.
    Campfire-Tent-5.jpg
     
  9. OutnBacker

    OutnBacker Guide

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    Nylon? I thought they were canvas. Oh well, it a lot lighter for those who have to portage. I don't here in Washington State, so weight is never an issue. I can tell you one thing though - nylon will be much more susceptible to the odd ember melting a hole in it then canvas would ever be.
     
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  10. NoBrakesRacing

    NoBrakesRacing Scout

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    This may be too heavy, saw it at Walmart and looked interesting.
    The tent attaches to a 10x10 straight leg canopy and you can put up to three.

    I've thought about getting one of this canopies for the family. Could see having one tent for my wife and I and one for the kids.
    But the canopies are large and heavy plus we have a 6 man tent.
    There's also a connectent that fills the space under the canopy.
    Amazon has both. 20180824_170043.jpg
     
  11. FreeMe

    FreeMe Guide

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    Anchor that thing good against the wind! Looks neat though.
     
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  12. Boreal Boy

    Boreal Boy Supporter Supporter

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    @OutnBacker the bill mason campfire tents are canvas however, the company that makes them also makes them in nylon. Definitely saves on eight and about $350-$400.
    A Buddy of mine has one in canvas and it's his three season tent, he loves it. I agree canvas has its perks, I spend many nights in the winter in hot canvas tents but, for what I want this tent for as well as the weight and cost savings t makes sense to go with nylon. Thing with that tent is its guy-line heavy! Think there is 11-12 lines to tie out on the campfire tent.
    @NoBrakesRacing interesting option indeed!
     
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  13. OutnBacker

    OutnBacker Guide

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    Oh, Okay. Yeah, back in the day they didn't have a lot of lightweight pole tech that socketed together to give counter leverage. So, lots of guy line.
     
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  14. 66drifter

    66drifter Guide

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  15. Flint_2016

    Flint_2016 Hobbyist Hobbyist Bushcraft Friend

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    Not sure anymore of the brand name but I bought this four man tent at WalMart about 8 yrs ago.Wife and I liked it because of the big entry area to set up our chairs in rain or sunshine.
    481120_632198636798978_1309543305_n.jpg 549500_632203213465187_1943486522_n.jpg
     
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  16. ozarkhunter

    ozarkhunter Guide Vendor

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    I have my eye on this tent...
    http://www.browningcamping.com/products/tents/ridge-creek
    [​IMG]

    It has an 8'x10' footprint, which I think will be great for using cots. The top is mesh and has 4 mesh windows. It is sold by ALPS Brands out of MO, and can be found at a number of retailers. They have smaller tents with much more mesh coverage and more compact design in their ALPS Mountaineering brand. I have had numerous dealings with the folks at ALPS, and own cots, sleeping pads, hunting packs and hunting blinds that they sell. I have always been pleased with the quality of their products, and have been equally impressed by their customer service. They are a family owned business that employs folks that love the outdoors.
     
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  17. 66drifter

    66drifter Guide

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    i've had one of these for quite a few years(15-20±) and when i had the occasions to use it it served me very well

    room for full sized cots along w/ full standing headroom

    lotsa good ventilation possible, even w/ the fly deployed

    it does however have an achilies heel which is/are the 4 plastic corner joint pieces where the corner verticals and the top poles meet

    the top poles are a bit smaller than the corner poles and if you put the smaller top poles in the wrong end of that pastic joint it can break the little rascals and your trip has to goto plan B

    i now have a few extras in my tent bag

    no need to ask how i learned this ;-)
     
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  18. Boreal Boy

    Boreal Boy Supporter Supporter

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    @Flint_2016 that's a good looking tent, similar to my 10 man tent.
    @ozarkhunter that's interesting, that's for posting, I will look into that one.
     
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  19. Tdr

    Tdr Scout

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    I've only taking my whole family canoe camping (4 of us) a couple of times. My wife and daughter aren't into roughing it like me and my boy. And that was when they were smaller so I got by with a 2 man and a 3 man. There's no portaging on the trips I've been on.
    Now its mostly a 2 man each for my son and i.
    I think something to consider is a good stand alone canopy and smaller tents if you don't want to try and rig up a tarp high enough to stand under. We didn't spend much time in the tents anyways.
     
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  20. Boreal Boy

    Boreal Boy Supporter Supporter

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    That's a good idea. I know it's a matter of time before we use the 2 and 3 man tent set up but thought a nice 4-6 man would be nice to have.
     
  21. THRsucks

    THRsucks Guide

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    I don't have pictures, but i think you would be very happy with a coleman "insta tent" ,
    I used one for two weeks, it was a four person and was very roomy.

    The poles are integral to the tent, slide them out, and they lock in position. By myself, never setting one up before took probably 1:30 seconds. It comes with a carry case, i had my doubts it would fold back into its case the way it came out, to my surprise it did, it was just as fast to take down as set up
    (nearly).
     
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  22. THRsucks

    THRsucks Guide

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    Yeah, when the weather is harsh, it just makes person stir crazy not to have a dry area to stand up and work or walk around.
    I'm fine with a 10×10 tarp in addition to my hammock and its rain fly.
     
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  23. Tdr

    Tdr Scout

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    Defenitally.
    Especially if your dealing with young one's, sometimes the best thing to do is setup up a tarp or a canopy first and get yourself situated during hot or rainy weather ECT.
    I'm not saying a bigger tent isn't useful but I found most people like to have there own little cozey tent just for sleeping and reading a book , getting away from the crowd, changing clothes, ECT.
    A nice big tarp or canopy is the main hangout for a family if there's some rain coming.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2018
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  24. JC1

    JC1 Guide

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    My "canoe" is a 16' SOAR with a payload up to 1500#'s. My tent is a 10x10 canvas spike tent from montana canvas weighs in around 85#'s.
     
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  25. OutnBacker

    OutnBacker Guide

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    Now THAT's tentin'!
     
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  26. JC1

    JC1 Guide

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    :D
     
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  27. zelph

    zelph Guide Vendor

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    Eureka Headquarters, I like them so much I have 2 of them:dblthumb:
     

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  28. THRsucks

    THRsucks Guide

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    Rainy days are the best time to get crafty! I big tent is great but you will not be well served with woodchips from your kooksa or spoon everywhere. I like having a canopy to build a fire and do my meal prep. Im not too worried about a burn hole in 10x10 wally world tarp, so I'll start a fire under it and keep my firewood and myself dry as long as i can get the tarp off the ground high enough, and my fire isn't too large.
     
  29. THRsucks

    THRsucks Guide

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    Never invite me along. That portage doesn't sound like fun. Hahaha. You must do allot of river canoeing???
     
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  30. Silvuhboolit

    Silvuhboolit Florida Feller Supporter

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    On a dark desert highway, cool whip in my hair...
    54BB6C27-B709-45FD-B440-A5C183DE7F70.jpeg I am partial to my old eureka tent. It is the timberline outfitter 6. Had this one around 15 years and it’s never let me down. Plenty of room for three people or two adults and a couple of kids and still room for gear inside. They don’t make this version anymore but they do still make it with updated materials and design. This photo was taken at a local county park that offers tent only camping right on the water...
     
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  31. Boreal Boy

    Boreal Boy Supporter Supporter

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    @Silvuhboolit I like the way you "roll"! I like the look of that tent, thanks for the post!
     
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  32. Boreal Boy

    Boreal Boy Supporter Supporter

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    I just wanted to say thanks again to all who posted, I see this is common topic amongst the people who visit this section of the forum.

    There have been lots of great suggestions, I don’t think anyone is better than the rest, there all great, just different options. I know I mentioned I wanted some height to the tent and good views but, I forgot to mention that not having too big of a footprint. As I am sure you know, off the beaten track it can be tuff to find a spot to accommodate big tents with big vestibules.

    Asides for the tents I mentioned above (campfire tent, big ol canvas tents and marmot hideaway) I have taken a liking to the timberline as well as a couple inexpensive Coleman’s. I think I will keep this purchase on the cheap, if I can’t find a timberline or big ol canvas tent I will just go with one of the Coleman tents below. End of the day, any tent will do.

    If anyone knows of where I can pick up any of the tents mentioned above used please send me a link.

    Best,

    BB
    xtent1.png xtent2.jpg
     
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  33. Silvuhboolit

    Silvuhboolit Florida Feller Supporter

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    The timberline is an excellent tent, has a huge following as well as a long track record. It does everything well, you can get it in different sizes and choose one that suits you. The six man tent does not have a huge footprint, but I can stand up in it and I’m over 6 foot tall. The four-man tent you have to stoop over always. It’s a bigger tent to carry, but no problem in a canoe.
     
  34. Silvuhboolit

    Silvuhboolit Florida Feller Supporter

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    4A4088C7-FAE1-4B1E-BEAA-2D523DAC3597.jpeg

    Good for kids in the backyard....
     
  35. Silvuhboolit

    Silvuhboolit Florida Feller Supporter

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    AEE83E4A-E173-4CA0-9F89-9CB56D8DDD13.jpeg

    I love the 2 doors...There’s plenty a room to actually sleep sideways and each person has their own door to come and go in the middle of the night when nature calls.
     
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  36. Silvuhboolit

    Silvuhboolit Florida Feller Supporter

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    Camping on an island...for 3 days and fishing like crazy every day! Mid 80’s.

    REI sells used tents.
    Eureka has a factory outlet..

    http://www.eurekacampingctr.com/eureka/

    Here’s something I learned a long time ago on tents, You buy a cheap Tent, you get cheap performance. That usually equates to rain during a thunderstorm. I found this out the hard way, more than once until it finally dawned on me I need to spend more money on a better tent. Here’s an old picture of a Cabela’s tent that I purchased in the early 80s. This thing was a beast to set up, but once set up was virtually wind proof and never leaked. However, it was an eight man tent and impossible to set up by myself. But I went through some serious downpours in that thing!

    I switched to the Eureka and I like it much better. Even though it’s smaller, I can set it up by myself with no problem, two people can have it up in 10 minutes or less. I also had the four-man version and liked it as well, but decided I wanted something I can stand up in. None of my Eureka tents have let me down. They have plenty of guy out points, and you will need to learn them in case of heavy winds. You definitely need to do some judicious staking and have plenty of cord or rope to spare. But it is easy to cinch it up.
     
  37. OutnBacker

    OutnBacker Guide

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    I have an ancient TL-4 branded as a Coleman. Great tent. I see the new versions are pretty expensive.
     
  38. Boreal Boy

    Boreal Boy Supporter Supporter

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    Thanks again for the info. Must admitt I like the timberline 4 did someone say there is a 6 man?

    I was looking at them on amazon when I bumped into a few used tents for sale about 3 hours from me that caught my eye, I am gonna make the drive to town next week and pick them up, i will post pics once I get the three of them here. These three tents along with my tarp setups I will have every camping trip covered from solo to family to summer to canoe to backpacking to winter...

    And in case your wondering, yes I do camp a lot not only for recreation, solo and family but also for work
     
  39. Silvuhboolit

    Silvuhboolit Florida Feller Supporter

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    Yes, the pictures I have put up of the Eureka tent are of the six man Timberline outfitter.
     
  40. DF Bob

    DF Bob Supporter Supporter

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    I have a similar tent as the one JC1 indicates, 10x10 and a single pole setup (or tie to a branch for a no-pole set up), and it's great except for that "weight" thing. AND gravity is getting stronger because it weighs more than it used to. But it's one among others. Out West, we don't do much (any?) portaging because in a lot of places it would involve 20 to 30 miles and at least a couple of thousand feet vertical up and down. So, with a medium or larger canoe, weight isn't a big problem. And the joy of using canvas, which is spark resistant, moisture resistant, and a big area to stand in outweighs , no pun intended, the weight. I also have a Frost River bushcraft tent $$$$$$, which is essentially a Baker tent, and have the fly attachment set up for hot camping in the winter. This tent, or similar from one of the several custom canvas makers, would be one to consider for a family camp if you don't plan on portaging.

    Like FreeMe, I basically wore out a Timberline/Eureka 6-man nylon, which in that size is a good alternative for a "close" family. It's not even a bad back pack tent if you consider weight/person with 3 or more, and would be a good canoe tent, or two of the smaller sizes.

    FreeMe, I like your camp picture. Looks like my Old Town Tripper, but yours looks like a 16. I have the bang plates on mine - lesson learned - don't put them on until you already do some damage to the bow/stern, and I got the bow one on my Penobscot slightly crooked and have paid for it ever since as it wants to veer to the starboard a bit. Not bad, but if anyone elects to put them on, MAKE SURE they get on axially and even!

    Bob
     
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  41. Flint_2016

    Flint_2016 Hobbyist Hobbyist Bushcraft Friend

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    My favorite's are the Baker tent,and the Whelen.The Whelen costs less,so I'd probably go with one of those.
    2a.jpg
    Whelen tent
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    Baker(or Campfire)tent
     
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  42. mjh

    mjh Supporter Supporter

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  43. mugsy

    mugsy Guide

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    Little ones definitely need ROOM in the event of inclement weather, ya dont wanna be cooped up un a tiny tent withem
    chompin at the bit!!! Got 4 of my own all grown and speak from first hand knowledge. I took to tents that you can walk into instead of crawling a long time ago, and now that my knees arent what they used to be I dont have to upgrade.
     
  44. JoeJ

    JoeJ Supporter Supporter

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    All depends on whether you're operating from a base camp or if you're setting a tent up every night out. Either way, I highly recommend a tent possessing sprung steel poles incorporated within the tent itself giving instant set-up capability. For base camp, a tent of sufficient size with a center height of 74/76 inches is about right - for an on the go travel tent, one of the smaller 2, 3 or 4 man sized tents would be the ticket.

    The only tents possessing the incorporated metal poles are manufactured in Australia to my knowledge, and I would think they are still sold here in the USA. I have the 10-man sized tent that will sleep 4 adults very comfortably with cots and large plastic totes for clothing storage and still have plenty of walk around room standing straight up - The center height is 76 inches. One man set-up and take-down - takes less than 10 minutes to lay down a ground cloth, set up tent on the ground cloth, put on the rain fly and stake everything down. On rocky Canadian backcountry terrain - setting the stakes can be a little more difficult and might take a bit more time but on "normal" ground - it's a snap.

    I can not longer find the large self erecting tents anywhere, so they may have to be special ordered - I think I paid $350 for my tent some 10/12 years ago.

    We construct an A-Frame covered with plastic tarps for a cook shack and card playing/beverage consuming shelter.

    Look at the pop up style tents - they set up just like my 10-man does.
    https://www.tentworld.com.au/tents/dome-tents/


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  45. JoeJ

    JoeJ Supporter Supporter

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    First picture is a Canvas wall tent - we made our own supports. Second picture is a Woods 2-room tent that we used decades ago - took 2 men to set it up and it wasn't that easy with 2 men. Heavy as all get out and took up a lot of room in the boat & back of a pickup. We did what we had to do back then.
    Ole Wall Tent.JPG
    Woods Tent.JPG
     
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  46. Boreal Boy

    Boreal Boy Supporter Supporter

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    I forgot about this thread, time for an update id say.

    after I posted this thread, it rained tents!

    First tent- picked it up for $50, Great Outdoors tents, Laser model, made in New Zealand, bought it off an older Aussie couple, said they used it all over Australia while raising their family. first thing I did was install a stove jack in it so I could use my tent stove in it. then took it on a camp/hunt trip. its the Cadillac of tents, with that stove going....oh buddy! I will probably cut out the floor on the half of the tent with the stove in it, other than that, a great car camping/ base camp/multi boat trip.

    11.jpg 12.jpg 13.jpg 14.jpg

    Second tent,
    I signed this one out from work indefinitely, a eureka ....something rather, forget model, 4 man, 4 season tent. great for two man or one and kids when camping in extreme conditions. i took it on a helicopter backcountry Moose hunt, kept me and hunting buddy nice and toasty and lots of room for two guys and gear. it was a cold wet night and I had one of those UCO candle lanterns, worked AWESOME, burned all night and kept the dampness out of the air.
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    I stumbled on this next one and couldn't not buy it. MEC Snowfield 2 man, 4 season ten tin great shape. I re-waterproofed and seam sealed it. great solo tent (or tandem if you like really like the other person) or one man and one kid or two kids) great tent in any condition. both doors open up big to give you a nice view and ventilation.
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    Last one I picked up on a moments notice, cheap and only used once. (these aren't my pics) MEC wanderer 4. great three season family tent not too bulky for a 4 man, easy up and down, I see this one being canoe camping tent on canoe trips alone or with family as well as car and back yard camping with the kids. Great tent, front and back doors open right up, big views and ventilation.
    21.jpg 19.jpg 20.jpg


    As you can see.... I think I got all my camping requirements "covered" with regards to tents. I can combine different tents depending on the crowd going, conditions and the wants of everyone, pretty much got it covered.

    thanks for all the info! There were some beauty tents posted and while I didn't get the exact tents I wanted as if I was a millionaire but, got all those for about $260.

    Happy trails,

    BB
     
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